"In fact (at the time of publishing), 78,664,742 Americans voted - an unprecedented number - for a duo that aims to represent all people, our democracy, and its potential to serve the common good. What statement of the nation's conscience over the alternative of tyranny, xenophobia, and self-dealing."
- Jen Hoffmann, Americans of Conscience (Newsletter)
"I thought there would be more celebrating."
- Board member of our local Indivisble chapter, November 17, 2020
I am torn between conflicting poles. The first is a desperate desire to retreat and replenish my spiritual and creative energy, to detoxify my brain from the barrage of negative news generated by 45 and his cronies. The second is a driving need to increase my activism and move toward positive change, based on the news and needs of the moment. The election of the Biden - Harris ticket was a good start but we can't wait to capitalize on it.
A yearning to provide my children with a decent planet and positive future generates both desires. I need to act to mitigate this current disaster in our country, but I also need space to imagine positive solutions, move toward utopia rather than slide toward the dystopia we catch glimpses of outside our quarantine windows. How can we find mental energy to dream bigger and imagine better if we are bogged down in current headlines?
My morning reading of the news generates passion and quotes enough to fill several blogs, but leaves me barren in terms of generating alternative solutions. I'm working on a children's book with my mom, set in rural Wyoming in the late 1940's. Unfortunately, with news of Trump's latest mis-deeds scrolling in a perpetual news feed across my brain, I struggle to visualize my characters in northern Wyoming, have a hard time generating dialogue or action that does not relate to our immediate, desperate straits.
And make no mistake, we are still in desperate straits. While encouraged and emboldened by the wonderful results of the presidential election, the current occupant of the White House, our toddler-in-chief, still refuses to concede and begin the important work of transition. Our Arctic is being sold off to oil companies for drilling, senior aides are having to drag Trump back from bombing Iran's nuclear sites, and the coronavirus is causing a humanitarian disaster in our country. Teams from Doctors Without Borders have been deployed to various locations in the United States, a shocking example of how far and fast we have fallen. Instead of donating to their efforts in Africa or Haiti, I find them in the state next door.
So how to manage the dichotomy of engagement and removal? Some friends alternate periods of action with news fasts, yoga and bubble baths. I tried that over the weekend and made some progress, though not enough to generate periods of creativity. It appears that I will have to learn how to manage both sets of train tracks and master switching from one to the other, from ramping up my activism to clearing the mind for creativity, and that the situation may be required for some time. The engineer in my brain must get busy, because failure on either track is not an option.
PS - If you are interested in activism this week, I am including the link to the current Americans of Conscience checklist (here).